Love Is a Temple Love the Higher Law

Anthony DiPietro

like an unwashed tongue the road rolls

toward me & away at seventy mph I’m giving
a concert at top volume a magnitude of blood
crawls in my temples & leadens my head

bowed low with new weight though my back
has been hunched in a sob seven years & my bowels
shake because I have taken the dense blue pill

which will eat the virus if it managed to breach
my skin last time I pulled a man down in my lap
to feel my love inside out like the bee gees sang

in sex ed I paid attention on disease day they said
it is smaller than any bacterium now every time I swallow
my own saliva I wonder is my swallow normal or inflamed

if no infection but glands swollen it could be the flu
that warns new converts with hiv six weeks after it starts
making as many molecular copies as the body has cells

there is no way the human mind can visualize a trillion
this dark lullaby also vibrated in my ears the day
at fifteen I left the house the yard the family

like a stray electron broke free from its compound I was young
but I knew how a man demolishes his wife or children
or self-destructs pointing at his head before he raises

the wrecking ball or hammer or shotgun slug O
love O god O man I’m gonna come
a distance greater than any ache

carrying in this body one infection
to give you with my love I know you can taste
how I decided that day to go on living as long as

I could & yet the male ejaculate on skin
is the cleanest smell there is
it is the closest thing

a man alone can make to a newborn child